Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Genting to buy Pan Malaysian Pools for RM2.5bil?

PETALING JAYA: The market is again abuzz with speculation thatGenting Bhd, whose businesses include gaming and leisure underGenting Malaysia Bhd in which the company has a 49.39% stake, is finalising the deal to acquire Tanjong plc's gaming unit Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd (PMP) for an estimated RM2.5bil.
While speculation of Genting having won the bid is not new, this time sources have told StarBiz that the deal was definitely going through.
“They'll be signing the deal on Thursday worth RM2.5bil,” a source said, adding that four persons were involved in seeing the deal through.
However, another source said Genting's bid has too many conditions and therefore the other bidders have been asked to resubmit their offers.
Will Genting Malaysia finally sign the RM2.5bil takeover of Pan Malaysian Pools?
Besides Genting, Tanjong's gaming arm has attracted other bidders including Olympia Industries Bhd, the Rimbunan Hijau group controlled by Sarawak-based tycoon Tan Sri Tiong Hiew KingEkovest Bhdexecutive chairman and co-founder Datuk Lim Kang Hoo, Filipino tycoon Roberto Ongpin and the Cheng family, who operates slot machines in Kuala Lumpur.
A third source said that while the structure of the deal was always important, that would not prevent the deal from going through. “From what I understand, this deal will go through,” he said.
Genting and Tanjong officials were unavailable for comment at press time yesterday.
PMP operates number forecast and race totalisator businesses as well as manages the 240-acre national stud farm in Tanjung Rambutan, Perak.
According to a gaming analyst, the impact on Genting would depend on the price. “A new entrant will intensify competition,” she said.
Besides PMP, which has a 24% market share in the numbers forecasting business, the other operators include Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd andMulti-Purpose Holdings Bhd, which has 40% and 36% market share respectively.
Initial estimates from last year after Tanjong was taken private by T. Ananda Krishnan (who controls the company) last September valued PMP at RM2.3bil to RM2.5bil.
The decision to sell the gaming assets was to facilitate the entrance of other investors who could only invest in syariah-compliant businesses as Tanjong, which has a power-generation business, planned an expansion for this business.

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